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Alumni News

By: Brian Fitzgerald | Published: August 29, 2017 | Categories: Alumni

Phonathon Students Look Forward to Talking with You


The Student Phonathon callers for The Fund for Western New England University play an important role in maintaining a strong connection between the University and alumni. When you see Western New England University on your caller ID (413-782-3111), we hope you pick up the phone: a student is excited to share the latest campus news and learn about your Western New England experience!

Caller Kylie Kennedy, a sophomore majoring in Forensic Biology, says it is gratifying to know that every time she goes to work she is helping have a positive impact on the University. Kennedy says her most memorable call came last December, during #WNEGIVES, the University’s first-ever community giving event. “I asked an alumnus how his experience was at Western New England, and he said that coming here was the best decision he ever made,” she says. “He told me that he without his scholarship he may have not been able to attend the University, and he said he would donate $1,000 to student aid. I was so shocked because at the beginning of the call he did not seem that interested, but as we continued talking it was clear Western New England University really changed his life and that he wanted to be a part of helping future students attend.”

Fellow caller Natalie Rauh, a sophomore Marketing major, says it is rewarding for her to talk to people of all ages—alumni who were in her place a just a few years ago or as much as a half-century prior. “My grandfather was from the Class of ’66, so it’s interesting talking to people from his class,” she says. “My favorite calls are with the older generations who love getting calls from current students.”

Both Kennedy and Rauh enjoy their work, and feel they are making meaningful contributions when they help alumni stay connected through these phone calls. They both enjoy finding out things they may have in common with alumni – like having had the same professor for a favorite class, or sharing a love for the University's famous chocolate chip cookies.

Phonathon Coordinator Diane Swanson says that this year’s callers make up one of the most fun—and committed—groups of students she has ever worked with. “This is an incredible team, with everyone having something to contribute,” she says. “They believe in what they are doing, and their enthusiasm shows in every call.”

She encourages alumni to share their Western New England experiences when they receive a call from one of her students. “Our Phonathon students are crucial to maintaining strong relationships with alumni and friends,” says Swanson. “They look forward to talking with you about the new and exciting things that are happening on campus, as well as the many ways your generosity is critical to the success of the University.”

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